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Looking back on the Rapid City book banning saga

CCAC North Library

Last spring, a Rapid City school district made national headlines when copies of five books were listed as items to be destroyed on a school board agenda. Lori Walsh pulls interviews from the In the Moment archives to revisit the story and provide an update.

In May 2022, a troubling item on a Rapid City school board agenda raised red flags in the state and the nation. It started when administrators at Rapid City Area Schools excluded five titles from a reading list chosen by 12th grade teachers. They claimed the books contained inappropriate material for students.

Over 350 copies of the titles had already been purchased. Those copies were listed as items to be destroyed on a board meeting agenda, which ignited concerns about book burning.

Lori Walsh spoke to Jonathan Friedman, an academic freedom advocate, and hosted a discussion with Dave Eggers, an author of one of the banned books, as well as a Rapid City parent and a student.

A conversation with Jonathan Friedman
Lori Walsh and Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education for PEN America, discussed book banning, the definition of pornography and the civil liberties of readers, including high school students.
A book banning roundtable
Dave Eggers is the author of "The Circle," one of the five books excluded from Rapid City classrooms and listed for destruction. He is joined by Natalie Slack, a business owner with three children in the school district, and Blake Bush, who was a high school senior at Central High School in Rapid City when the story broke.